[OpenStack Foundation] Board discussing how to improve the Individual Director election process, community input wanted

Steven Noble snoble at sonn.com
Sun Nov 18 19:58:27 UTC 2012

Hi All,

Sent from my iPhone

On Nov 18, 2012, at 8:42 AM, Mark McLoughlin <markmc at redhat.com> wrote:
> I'm disappointed by the fact that bylaws changes were ruled out, but I
> get it. I also think you guys did a good job of capturing the ideas that
> were discussed on the mailing list. The result isn't the issue, it's the
> process.

From the way that the board changed the bylaws in their second meeting to exclude all non board members from understanding or being able to even observe discussions about applying companies, I am surprised there are any issues changing the bylaws. 

The bylaw change took effect immediately and involved one of the most controversial membership applications, VMWare. 

Essentially the board can change its mind about how open they want to be at any time. The community has 0 input past the members elected to the board. 

> In retrospect what I really find odd is the way we have a bunch of
> engaged, constructive and interested people actively discussing ideas on
> the mailing list. Then a completely different group goes off and
> discusses ideas privately and, a month later, comes back with a
> conclusion giving the original group mere days to give feedback.

How I see it is simple: Make the community feel involved but protect the power of the board by not including the community in discussions where the community can add significant and possibly upsetting ideas. 

> I guess from the perspective of members of the board, you've seen the
> issue taken seriously and actively worked to a conclusion. From the
> perspective of not being on the board, I see little engagement from the
> board in the original discussion, silence and then a big reveal. It's
> not the kind of open, collaborative process I'd hope for.

The discussions are not at all as open as the board claims to them to be. So far I have seen only restrictions put on the community and their involvement. You can buy a board seat if you have enough money.

> Then again, no-one else seems to be taking issue with the process so
> it'd be fair to count me as one of the "No matter what we do, there will
> be people who object" crowd :)

I disagree. I see many issues with the way the board operates and I have no issue pointing them out. Until the board take openness seriously and proves it by allowing full access to those who want to observe there will always be an aspect of the OpenStack foundation that belongs to those with money. 

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